Former WIU president named president at Central State University

(NEWS3) — Former Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas was named president at Central State University Friday.

Central State is a public, historically black university located in Wilberforce, Ohio, about 20 miles east of Dayton. The university has about 2,000 students.

This comes after Thomas left WIU last June on paid administrative leave. The agreement said Thomas will spend one year on paid leave and one year on sabbatical. During those two years, WIU agreed to pay Thomas’ full salary of $270,528 per year.

Thomas and his administration came under fire the past two years after WIU faculty members voted “no confidence” in his administrative leadership team in March 2018. Months later, dozens of faculty members were laid off in June 2018, then hundreds of civil service employees in March 2019.

Thomas faced more pressure in his last few months at WIU after community members posted signs of “Fire Jack” throughout the area and called for the reinstatement of Executive Officer of the WIU Foundation Brad Bainter.

Thomas spent eight years as the president of WIU. He will become the ninth president of Central State University later this year.

According to Tri States Public Radio, a university spokesperson told TSPR that Western’s legal counsel is reviewing the terms of the deal to determine the school’s future obligations to Thomas now that he has accepted another job.